Editor’s notes

Prayer and community hallmarks of religious life

Dave Eck • Director of Communications

At a cousin’s wedding, right after the vows were exchanged, the organist performed Noel Paul Stookey’s “The Wedding Song” (There is Love). Though that was nearly 25 years ago, the same song is still used at Christian weddings because it fits the ceremony so well. There is something inspiring about God being at the center of a couple’s commitment to each other as they leave the life they’ve known to enter into something more fulfilling.

That same sentiment exists for members of religious communities as well. If you ask a woman or man religious to share the appeal of religious life, they will often point out two key factors: prayer and community. They will tell you that prayer gives them the strength to carry on in their ministry and brings them into a deeper, loving relationship with God. It’s at the center of their lives. Community provides support and companionship. Even if a member lives and ministers alone, a loving hand or someone to talk with is only a phone call away.

With the Sisters of the Precious Blood, community is best seen during the annual Spirit Days and Jubilee celebration. Part reunion, part business meeting and part socialization, the annual event brings Sisters from across the United States, Chile and Guatemala back to Dayton. Watching these Sisters interact, one can see the true joy they have for each other and their work. The smiles give it away.

In this issue of Sharing & Caring you see those smiles through the images and words of Spirit Days and this year’s jubilarians. We introduce you to the 12 Sisters who are celebrating milestone jubilees in 2014. Together these women have provided nearly 700 years of Christian witness — an impressive feat, indeed!

One of our jubilarians, Virginia Hebbeler, shares her unique experience of receiving holy communion from then-Pope John Paul II during a 1987 papal Mass in Phoenix, Arizona, where she ministered for more than 20 years. A native of Cincinnati, Sister Virginia talks about her journey of 75 years a Precious Blood Sister.

In this issue we also meet Sister Amy Junk and learn of her ministry at Cherry Street Mission in Toledo. A former music teacher and parish musician, Sister Amy works with homeless women on general equivalency diploma (GED) testing and work skills.

Finally, congratulations to Sister Gladys Marie Lowe for her 100th birthday, May 30.

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